Wednesday, June 22, 2016 : My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping) Review Review
Recently I received the product called My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping) for review. I received an annual membership to their online planning and record keeping program. This program consists of a variety of amazing features that make it easy to keep all your homeschool organization and planning in one place. You can even access it on the go from your phone or tablet to see just what needs to be done while you're on the road!

What we received:
I received full online access to their annual membership for their lesson planning website. In this program you can keep track of your entire homeschool year, all in one convenient place. You can see your attendance, plan lessons for the year, and track grades all in one place. It goes with you wherever you go so that you can easily keep track of homeschool plans on the road as well.

How it works:
This online planning program works very simply and easy. You will create your student's information and start lesson planning or tracking attendance right away. It doesn't take long once you have your student set up to get the planning part going. There's even a Teacher's Aid! Yes, you read that right! The teacher's aid helps you through the system and will remind you what you need to get done each day. There are emails that come to you to help you know when to mark items completed, if you need to move them to a different date or if you're still working on the project at hand.

You can even create reports for your homeschool portfolio or records if you like. You can create transcripts for your high schooler, print out a report card for the year or even just the semester, keep track of all their awards they've earned and so much more!

Ok so tell me I'm not alone here. At the beginning of the school year I set out these lovely step by step plans. We'll have this amount of lessons finished by our Christmas break and everything will run smoothly with no cause for fuss or muss, right? Well, inevitably something always happens. Someone gets sick or we have a lot of running to do or whatever. In that case the lessons always get shifted around. I wish I just could click a button and reschedule the lessons, shift them to a different part of the week. And now you can!! They have a lesson rescheduler that you can use to shift lessons forward so that you can complete them on different days.

How I Used It:
I put in Boo Bear's extra curricular activities that I know we plan on participating for this year. Mainly I used that section so I can have a reminder of when to sign up for these classes and check on the schedule they will put out. I also used it to set up our school year starting in this August as we're finishing up our studies now for the 4th grade.

Set up is quite simple and takes only a few minutes to get going. I have him set up and the emails registered to remind each day of tasks that should be taken care of. I will be inputting more of his class schedule for the upcoming year but I used it for our current finishing up of math. It's very simple to see the schedule we have laid out in front of us and to move days forward if we got sidetracked with all the fun summer time activities available.

What I Thought:
This is a fabulous resource for the homeschool Mom who likes to plan on the computer and have everything at her fingertips. You can also print out reports and transcripts too if you like to have hardcopies of the items your using. I love the reading lists they provide, the ease of use of the system, and the amazing features it offers. There's really something awesome in here for every grade level you can imagine. From reading lists for your little one to the transcripts and report cards for the older children, you will have everything you need right at your fingertips.

You can easily generate lesson plans with the generator and shift things around when life interferes. You can also set it up to automatically track attendance by the lessons you complete or whatever method you wish it to take. You can also manually track attendance should you wish to do that as well.

I would recommend this product to anyone who wants to keep everything all in one place for easy access and use. You'll love the easy at a glance report features, lesson plan copying features for repeated lessons, and so much more! There's really an amazing amount of features and ideas to use for this program to make it work for your homeschool organization.

Don't just take my word for it! Check out the other Crew Members thoughts by clicking on the banner below. You can also check out My School Year on social media with the links below.

Homeschool Record Keeping { Review}
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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Menu Plan: June Week Three

Howdy!! How are you all doing this week? This is a little bit behind, but better late than never, right?

So I'm doing a THM update this week and sharing our menu plan for the week. I'm finding it much, much easier if I plan out a menu and have it all ready to go than if I just try to buy random ingredients. I mean really.. Random ingredients gets me into all kinds of trouble!!

So for an update on how I'm doing... I've lost another pound! Wahoo! I know, I know.. A pound doesn't seem like a whole lot but guess what... I used to think that too. I saw something the other day that really hit home with me. Instead of saying I ONLY lost a pound... I'm saying Wahoo! I lost a pound :). Why? Because if all I lose is a pound a week for the next year, that's 52 whole pounds gone in a year!!! So no more downing myself if I "only" lose a pound or not even a pound in a week's time. This is a lifelong journey to health. This is not a diet. Ya know?

So anywho!!! I'm finding things to be a little easier as I move through the weeks. We've been on THM, Trim Healthy Mama, for about two months now. I on plan more than my hubby or kiddo. They eat what I fix and of course we tweak it for them. For example, last night I made Philly Cheesesteak in a bowl and they had theirs on bread. I'm also learning how to give myself grace. This past weekend was my son's play weekend. We were on the go constantly for dinner. Thankfully I could get a salad one night and the other night where it was a hit or miss, I gave myself grace. That's what this is all about. Food freedom and grace!!

Now we can get to the meal plan for this week. As I mentioned I made Philly Cheese in a bowl last night so that was on the plan. I have some other fun stuff planned for this week and some different things too. I have about a month or more menu plans together now so I am getting to where I can go pull things I know we like and add in a new recipe once a week or so. It helps me to get things in a rotation and also to know what we like and what we might want to skip over.

Here's the plan for this week:

Philly in a Bowl
Cheeseburger Quesadilla from Pinterest - S
Taco Soup -E with baked Tostitos
Flounder - (not sure how I'm cooking it yet)
Grilled Porkchops and Italian Sausage

I'm also trying to figure out how to do this on a tighter budget. I have about the same grocery bill every week now and I'd love to see it drop a little (or a lot). Let's face it. Groceries are expensive so anyway we can cut down on it, I'm all for it :)

I can say that menu planning such as this does seem to keep my budget about the same for each week. That part is nice because I know how much I'm going to spend before I get there. I am going to try going to Aldi's more. They are building one closer to my home but I have one a little farther away that I do enjoy going to. It is much cheaper on some of the THM things so I'm going to see if I can do it there or if Wal-Mart is where we're stuck :).

What's on your menu for the week? Any yummy recipes I should try out? Let me know!!!

LearnBop: LearnBop for Families Review

LearnBop for Families Review
Recently we received the opportunity to check out a new math program online called LearnBop. The program we reviewed was the LearnBop for Families program that is an online math tutor program. The program is designed to help families who need a little extra practice in math or for classrooms as well. You can use the program at home on the computer or even on the go with a tablet, like we do so very often.

LearnBop for Families Review
What we received:
We received the 12-month subscription to the online math program for the review. The program is based on teaching videos and "bops" that are completed after the videos are watched and the lesson taught. You'll receive access to a parents page where you can keep up with your children's progress and they have a sign-in for their own page to do the work.

Here's a shot of what my screen looks like for Mom's page.

It shows me a variety of things on the sign in page such as how much he has worked on lessons, where he is at in completing the process and how much time was spent working on the concepts. It also allows me the option to see where he's at on his roadmap.

The program is available for one child or multiple children so you can easily see all your children's progress at once.

Once Boo Bear signs in to his page, he will see the concept he is currently working on at the very beginning. He can then complete a bop and work on mastering the concept. He concept has a certain mastery level that must be reached before moving to the next concept. So he can work to just the mastery level, for example 90% , or he can work until he's got 100% if he wants to. Some of these concepts for fourth grade were pushing his limits a little but that is good. (At least to mama it is)

How we used it:
We would sign in on our laptop for Boo Bear to work on a bop or two at a time. If some of the concepts were a little harder, then we would maybe do one video and a bop to work on it a little at a time. For example, the lesson he worked on has around three videos to watch where he is taught the concept in the lesson he's working on. There are extra videos if he's not sure he completely understands it. Once he's watched them he works on the bop which reiterates the lesson he just worked on.

It shows him his progress along the bottom of the screen, how far he has to go and also he earns rewards throughout the tutoring to encourage him to keep bopping along.

We would work on this a couple times a week to go over our math curriculum we were learning. It helps to reiterate the concepts we were learning in our math program and to also touch over concepts that he has struggled with in the past.

The great thing is mom, dad, or even college age kids can use this program as well. There's math tutoring assistance for all areas of math including geometry, Algebra, Trigonometry and more areas!!

What we thought:
The concepts were pushing Boo Bear to really think in some of the bops so I really liked that. He wasn't sure at first because he to think but once he grasped it, he was excited! It's always great to see that lightbulb of "getting it" come on.

I liked that I can see his progress and that he's not the only one learning as we go through the videos and the questions. I like also that it can go with us as we need to take school on the road a lot. You can sign in on a tablet and take LearnBop with you where you need it to go.

I highly recommend checking this program out if you're searching for a program that can help tutor your math students, or even tutor you in concepts you're having trouble with. You can use it for a variety of math helps and to work through troubling concepts.

Check the program and company out on their social media links below. Don't forget to also check out the other Crew Members thoughts by clicking the banner below.


LearnBop for Families Review

Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Progeny Press: Mr. Popper's Penguins E-Guide Review

Recently we received the opportunity to review the Progeny Press E-Guide for Mr. Popper's Penguins. This is one of our favorite stories so we were excited to get the opportunity to check it out. Progeny Press is an amazing family owned and operated company that provides a variety of study guides, e-guides, and more to go in depth with all your favorite books.

Literature Study Guides from a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press  Review}

What we received: We received the downloadable study E-guide for Mr. Popper's Penguins. We already had the book on our kindle so this was not something else we had to grab. You can easily purchase this from the Progeny Press or possibly find it at your local library, depending on the book guide you choose.

The study guide can be printed off all at once, or you can print off what you need as you're working on it. This is the approach we usually take and did with this one.

The guide contains a ton of information for your fun and further knowledge of the book you're reading. To start off with you'll get some great background information on the setting of where the book took place and what life was like in the ages of the book when it was written.

There are also ideas to do before you settle into reading the book. In ours those included ideas of researching the poles, the penguins we would read about, and also watching videos on the areas where penguins live.

How it works:
With the E-guide we would print off the section that we were going to be working on for the day. That usually was a few chapters at a time for the paperwork. When we were reading it we may finish a section or it may take us a few days to get it completed. The guide contains a variety of exciting questions and tidbits of information to help you learn more about the story along the way. Basically each section covers a few of the chapters in the book. You'll find questions about the chapters you just read and so much more to do!

For example, the questions may direct your child, or even you, to learn new vocabulary words that were used in the books or prompt you to think more in depth about what you just read. There are also activities sprinkled throughout such as the first one we did where we were to find the four places Mr. Popper wanted to go on a globe or map. There are even some science projects throughout the guide to help you learn even more about the book and story you're reading.

These guides are chock full of information to cover a wide range of subjects and topics within your chosen book you're focusing on. One of our favorite things to do was the games that would come up after our reading. One of those happened to be the Papa Penguin shuffle. Needless to say, trying to walk like a papa penguin is not as easy as one might think!

What we thought:
This was our second time using Progeny Press and we were enjoying this one as much as the last one. They have a variety of stories to choose from and all grade ranges are available. This on is considered Upper Elementary grades, 4th-6th, and they also have books in the lower elementary, middle and high school levels.

Another thing we love about these guides is that they are faith based homeschool curriculum items. There are scripture passages and characteristic studies in our e-guide that relate to the character in the book and how we should act as Christians. These book study programs are great to work with for all ages and are a fun and exciting way to get into a new book. We highly recommend these to all homeschool families or even co-ops that are doing a book club. It's a fun and exciting way to learn more about the book you're reading!

Learn more about the other options available and the other Crew members experiences by clicking the banner below. You can also link up with Progeny Press by clicking one of the links you see listed.

Literature Study Guides from a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press  Review}

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Weekly Weight Update

So no. I didn't forget to post a menu plan this week. I did plan it out last week, went grocery shopping, have it on my chalkboard and everything. Just haven't had a chance to come on here and share it with you all! So sorry!!

It has been a crazy, crazy week!! We are in the midst of our two week drama camp for Boo Bear. They are practicing five hours a day for two weeks and then a performance three times in a row coming up. Whew!!! I'm tired just writing that!! They really do an awesome job and we can't wait to see the play!

Here is an update so far on my progress and things I'm finding out:

So, drumroll please (brbrbrbrbrbrbrbrbr......) I have officially lost 3 more pounds since I started THM. That may not seem like a huge loss but let me tell you... When you have two health conditions fighting you a pound or less is a good loss. Any loss is a good loss. I know, too, that my body is having to heal from years of damaging eating patterns. So, a loss is a loss!

I did take my measurements a couple years ago when I first found THM. From those measurements I've lost overall 8 inches. Yes, that's more than just the past few months but inches lost are inches lost. :-)

My energy levels have been much better than I have had in a long while. Also, I know when I eat something I shouldn't. Like right away. THM is about food freedom but eating things that are not "on-plan" rear their ugly head. There's so much goodness on plan I don't know why I eat anything that is not. So I'm thankful for those amazing tells that my body is showing now.

Boo Bear is getting in the kitchen with me and trying out new recipes. He made the Strawbisicles in the cookbook and they were quite yummy!

I tried the German Chocolate shake from the cookbook as well. Yummy!!

So since I'm almost to a new week, I'll share the menu plan later. :) How are you doing? Do you find menu planning helps you?

Monday, June 6, 2016

MaxScholar: MaxScholar Intervention Reading Intervention Programs

MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs Review
Recently we received the opportunity to review the MaxScholar program called MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs. We used the MaxGuru set and worked on this program through our computer. We received one year online access for one student.

This program focuses on the Orton-Gillingham approach for helping those with learning disabilities or dyslexia. This program is geared for a multi-sensory type of learning to help your learner improve their reading skills in just a few minutes everyday. You can find a variety of programs all under the MaxScholar program that your children are sure to enjoy.

We received:
We received the one year subscription to the digital program. This can be played on your computer, your iPad or other tablets if you have access to them. This makes it easy for your program to go with you when you're road-schooling.

This program works well with all students of varying ages. You can have your Kindergartner work on improving their newly found reading skills or help your older child who is maybe struggling with some of the harder reading they are coming into.

This program offers games, reading lessons, building root words and so much more!

MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs Review
How to use it:
This program is set up to work through lessons in a few minutes, depending on what topic you're working on. One area we worked with was the area of highlighting the main ideas in a paragraph. Boo Bear is great with reading on his level but sometimes it's hard to understand what the "main ideas" of the paragraph truly are without getting sidetracked in details. This was one area we worked with. The program gives him a passage to read and he is then to highlight several of the main ideas in the paragraph. The system gives him the number he should highlight and then he can see if he got them correct.

I should also mention that to start off with the program will give your student an entry exam. This is basically just to see at what level they are reading and where in the program would be great for them to start.

Moms, Dads, or teachers can also sign in and see the progress your child is making. MaxReports is the area where you can see the progress your child is making. They show the programs they've worked on and what their scores were. It can really help to show your child as well when they are discouraged. It helps them see where they started and where they've made it to.

There are many program options available on this program and you can use it for one or more students. It is used in homes, schools, and other locations to help your child succeed in their reading progress.

Don't forget having fun while learning! Whether your child is dealing with ADHD or a processing disorder, the games are fun for everyone! You can play a variety of games that help your child improve their skills throughout the process.

You can check out what the other Crew members thought by clicking the banner below. Also check out MaxScholar on their social media links below!

Google +

MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs Review

Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Old Schoolhouse : Hey Mama! Print Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017 Review

Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017 Review
I love planners! As a planner myself, I love having things written down and organized to the littlest detail. I am a recovering planner ;-) but I still love to have it all where I can quickly see everything we need to do in a day. (recovering as in I was once very, very stressed out by anything that didn't go according to plan. I'm learning to go with the flow more). In steps this new amazing review that I can't wait to share with you!!! I received The Old Schoolhouse amazing planner called the Hey Mama! Print Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017. You've probably seen the Hey Mama posts on their Facebook page and all those words of wisdom show up in this awesome planner!

Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017 Review
What I received:
I received the physical planner for my review. The planner is of high quality print and is full with over 190 pages of amazingness all in one book!

 The planner offers calendars at a glance for the entire 2016-2018 years. That's a plus as you can quickly see where dates fall for each of the next three years. The planner provides pages for you to start your lesson planning and calendar date planning starting in July of 2016. Most academic planners I've found start the planning in July so this fits perfectly.

At the beginning of each month's section you'll find a devotion and notes page for the upcoming month. You will have immediately following a monthly calendar page for the entire month for you to write down major events, appointments you have for that month. They offer larger squares for each day so it's easy to keep up with everything that is going on. This is the same for each month in the following calendar year.

 The planner also offers a variety of help pages for you to utilize. There are tons of different logs for you to use for multiple students for the year. They include things such as book reading logs, yearly goals for each of your students, monthly goals for each month, and even semester goals for each semester. So no matter how you break down your goal setting for the year, they have got you covered!

You'll also find pages that include fun facts such as the US Presidents wives, story starter ideas for your kiddos, the 13 colonies, and even a list of popular inventions on a timeline. When I say it's full of fun and useful tips and tricks, it is!

For those who have high schoolers, you're going to love the next part. In the back of the planner are a few pages dedicated to creating that very valuable and necessary high school transcript. There is a full page dedicated to tips and advice on how to start creating the transcript and what you need to include for a solid one. There are planning pages to help you outline the year, their grades throughout the semester and their overall grade at the end of the course. You can use this for all four years of their high school career to help them get a solid foundation for their upcoming college future.

How I used it/will use it:
I am using this planner for our upcoming homeschool year. I've already started writing in the resources I want to utilize and remember this year, plus our plan for curriculum choices and what I need to purchase still. I try to use the summer to plan for our upcoming year, although we school year round. The summer time is a much lighter load for us so I use this to get an idea of lessons going, what we're going to accomplish by the end of this calendar year, and where I want us to be by Christmas. That's exactly what I'm using this for. Since some of our July will be still working on our current curriculum, I'm waiting to start planning that month till I see how June goes.

I have already started our list of books read and will have a list of books to read that I add in to it. That way we have both in one place.

I plan on using the writing prompts provided in the planner as a way to get Boo Bear writing this year. We have kind of toyed around with writing and grammar and I am really trying to instill it even more this year. I want to make sure we have fun ideas to use and spark creativity and they will do just that.

This planner offers everything, and then some, that you could need for your homeschool organization.

What I thought:In case you couldn't already tell, I love this planner!! I love the kind words of wisdom and encouragement that the Hey Mama devotions bring throughout the entire planner. I love the easy to use system and at a glance features of the calendars and dates.  I really love that the reading log and other necessary items I need to plan our year are all in one place.

I love that it shares tips and tricks for me to get Boo Bear to writing, for me to record our year, and things for us to dig deeper into.

I highly recommend this as you're getting into planning your upcoming homeschool year. Check out the planner on their social media sites below.

Google +

ANDDD!!! Click the banner below to purchase the planner for a discount only given to our readers! You can get $10 off your Print Planner with you order with the coupon code below. Don't waste too much time! Make sure you order soon as the coupon expires on July 15, 2016.

Coupon Code Hey Mama Planner 2016 2017

Make sure you click the Crew banner below to see how others have used and will use their Hey Mama! Print Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017 this year!

Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017 Review

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